On our second full day, we spent most of the time in the car on winding mountain roads, crossing from Bujumbura (Buja), Burundi into Butare, Rwanda. The road was very good, but we didn’t top 35 mph because of the steepness and the switchbacks. We also got a later start than we wanted, leaving Buja around 0900, getting us to Butare at around 1400.
Archive for December 30, 2013
The day started over a nice breakfast on the beach. My favorite food items was sliced up avocado with stringy onions and carrots in lemon juice. I also enjoyed a bowl of granola with dried bananas and fresh yogurt atop. True to the Schaffer way (Schaffer is my mom’s side of the family’s last name, her maiden name), my grandfather brought a enormous plate of French breads back from the buffet line. We love the carbs.
It was a 30 hour journey from LAX to BJM (Bujumbura, Burundi) that started at 2230 Dec 26 and ended at 1500 Dec 28. Somehow we lost a day in there due to the time change and the 13 hour flight from IAD – ADD (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia). All told we have 4 flights: LAX – IAD; IAD – ADD; ADD – KGL (Kigali, Rwanda); KGL- BJM.
I waved goodbye to my parents and my grandfather and I set off to LAX.
It’s the night before my trip and I am psyched, but also a little anxious. I notoriously over-packed, but in my defense, one whole bag is dedicated to photography equipment (on the right) and of course I have to bring my laptop also for blogging and post-processing.
I’ll be taking my Canon Rebel T3i and tripod (and several lenses) on this trip and I’m going to be experimenting with different techniques. I’ve spent the past week over Christmas break finally learning about my camera and the science behind photography. This will be my first real chance to put my studying into action. Here’s are a few of my favorite shots from the past week:
As usual, I feel like I didn’t have enough time to plan out the details for this trip, knowing full-well that half the fun lies in the spontaneity of what unfolds and what can be discovered in the spur of the moment. when left to chance (read=awesomeness).
That said, I did do a little homework on other travel blogs to pool some recommendations of others in the know for things to do in Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Ethiopia. Especially because this trip I am not on my own – I’ll be traveling to the first three countries with my grandfather (an intrepid world traveler) and my aunt , who also got bit by the travel bug – which means things needs to be a little more fleshed out and organizing than I normally am used to.
I am mostly set for Ethiopia because I will be staying with family for a few days and already have my flights mapped out for Lalibela and Gonder – and I’m sure my cousins can provide some great recommendations and help once I get there. But, for the other countries, it seems that I have no direct friends that currently live there (which is actually surprising considering the breadth of my Thunderbird School of Global Management MBA network) – nor do I have many friends of friends that have ever even visited….so, blogging research it is! TGFTB (Thank God For Travel Blogs)
Here’s what I’ve collected in my perusals, in order of the countries/cities we’re visiting (much of this is a note to myself to go back and re-read these upon arrival).
- Bujumbura and Lake Tanganyika: 28 Dec – 30, Morgan in Africa Blog– Great tips on dining and shopping in particular.
- Butare: Dec 30-31, Ravi Rwanda Blog – note to self, take canoe/kayak out on the lake. Also this Cynthia Chung Photo blog recommends good walking shoes:
- Kigali: Dec 31 – Jan 1, Stepping String Blog. In particular I want to remember to check out two art galleries, Ivuka Arts Studios and Yego Arts, that the author recommends. Buying interesting art is an activity that the three generations of our family on this trip can agree on being an agreeable activity.
- Ruhengeri: Jan 1 – 2, Gorilla tracking, Muni and Molly Blog
- Gisenyi: Jan 2 -3, Muni and Molly blog
- Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake Mburo National Park: Jan 3 – 5, Stepping String Blog
- Kampala and Entebbe: Jan 5 – 6 Stepping String Blog
- Addis Ababa: Jan 6 -7, staying with family
- Gondar: Jan 7 – 8, Sam Thomson blog
- Lalibela: Jan 8 – 10, Scott’s Next Adventure blog
- Addis: Jan 10 – 11, staying with family
Feel free to pass along any advice, contact information of friends’family, or travel blogs about any of these places. There a surprising dearth of information on the web.
Time to celebrate, we are now more than 50% funded!
I also wanted to take a moment to explain to you WHY I am so passionate about transforming the airport experience.